Thursday, August 28, 2008


Well, it's been a busy week, that has gone very quickly. Almost every night, I have wanted to blog, but before I know it the night is gone. Tonight could be the same way (Tyler is currently begging to get out of the tub, so I am going to write quickly). Monday night, we were outside and he saw the neighbor washing their van and he asked to wash my car. It was fun for him, and my car needed it, so it worked out for both of us! Plus, he loves sitting in the front seat when I back my car into the driveway. It's the little things, you know? :)

Tuesday night, we babysat and went to yearly Big Truck Night. This year Tyler got to sit in a fire truck, police car, tractor, grader, school bus, phone truck, dump truck, ambulance, and maybe some others I can't remember. There is always a Schwan's truck giving out popsicles too.

Here he is with two of his buddies, Abe and Julian.

Sitting in the police cruiser.

A view of some of the big trucks... okay and mostly people.

Playing around in the bus seat (my photo shy boy) on his first ever bus ride.

Otherwise, I've been trying to get ready for a weekend camping trip. We're hoping to head to Cheney Reservoir for Friday night and then have friends join us on Saturday. I'm hoping we survive the heat. We're excited. We're looking forward to being with friends. And, it's been awhile since we've been camping so we're excited to try out our new tent.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


In college, my friend, Lisa, gave me her mother's recipe for Snickerdoodles. This is a great go-to recipe that I can rely on when I don't want to have to go to the store. And, we all like them! We are planning a camping trip for next weekend, assuming the weather cooperates, so I decided to make cookies to take along.


1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla (recipe doesn't call for it, but I add it)
2 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon (I double) for rolling cookies

Mix margarine, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Blend into margarine mixture. Shape into balls (I use my size 60 scoop - about a tablespoon) and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes (I usually need 11-12 minutes). Allow to cool on pan for 2 minutes then move to cooling rack. Makes 5 dozen.

Wendy's fries

What do you think of Wendy's french fries?
Love them...6
Hate them...1

Hmmm...not too many votes on the Wendy's french fries - perhaps most people don't have such different opinions of them in their household as we do. Last weekend, we were with Matt and Michelle and decided to eat at Wendy's. Wayne and Matt were 100% sure they didn't want to eat the fries and pronounced them disgusting, while Michelle and I agreed that we both like them quite a bit (especially when they are hot and prepared correctly). I was just curious about the rest of you all. :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wichita Wingnuts

Last night, we went to our first Wichita Wingnuts - AA baseball - game. (The Wranglers left us). We get a kick out of their name and their cute mascot...a squirrel.

I forgot my camera. :( We got there about an hour before game time and ate. We watched the Saltdogs get their one run and saw lots of foul balls fly into the stands...while Tyler climbed on us. Wayne was quickly ready to leave (after the first inning and only 45 minutes of game time)! I couldn't talk him into staying. I can't believe I was the one who wanted to stay either. Though Tyler was very sad about this and was not ready to go, Wayne easily bribed him with stopping for a "treat" (ice cream) on the way home.

We only know the results of the game from their website:

"Wingnuts stun, eliminate Saltdogs with ninth inning rally August 23,2008
WICHITA, KS- Silent for eight innings, Wichita's bats came alive for a ninth inning rally and the Wingnuts beat the Lincoln Saltdogs 2-1 in front of 6,093 fans at Lawrence Dumont Stadium on Friday Night. "

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Highlights of the day

Some of Tyler's highlights of the day, as reported to me when I got home from work.

1. They went to the park and he got to walk on the bridge. (This appeared very exciting to him, as he told me this several times).

2. "It was not a person; it was a man who looked like Daddy. He was weed whacking."
Yes, we got a chuckle out of calling Daddy "not a person."

3. A praying mantis he saw on our flowers. "It touchded Daddy."

Wayne thought Tyler's highlights of the day were interesting to they were probably not the same as his own.


While shopping yesterday, I saw some googly eyes. I am not crafty. But, don't they just sound fun? Michelle's son, Abe, has taken art classes at Monart - they teach art to the little ones using shapes, paints, markers, and other fun things. So, I decided we could try to do something similar.
I cut out some shapes and Tyler started gluing (a monkey at his request).
(By the way, he told me he likes the pair of shorts he is wearing because "they look like extercise shorts").

He wanted to add a banana and coconut (go with me here - I made the best coconut I knew how to) - and he is now painting on some grass.

Tah Dah! A monkey (whose eyes are strangely looking in different directions).

Afterwards, we made a paper chain for the days until Tyler's birthday. I am also working on one at school for all the work days until the end of the year - and I'm adding staff birthdays, holidays, etc. What can I say? I have a thing for paper chains. Oh, and I'm a little weird. :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sweet Greiffenstein

Yesterday something made me think of Amish peanut butter. This is apparently not something people in Wichita know of. So, as I was pining for its sweet, sticky goodness, my lovely coworker, Carol, looked up a recipe for me. I thought that was great - since I've only attempted making it once (with no recipe) and it was not what it should be.

Amish Peanut Butter
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup marshmallow creme

This morning, on my desk I found a nice, big slice of homemade bread and a little container of Amish peanut butter. How sweet is she?! So, for lunch today, I glowed in the memories of visiting Grandma, the Essenhaus, and others' houses. Mmmm home.

She and another coworker also let me tear up, then cry, talking about Tyler missing Lynette, and then admitting that I really miss her even more than Tyler! (At least, I'm assuming). :) This is a small bit of lots of support and encouragement that I receive from my lovely staff at Greiffenstein. I love them!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Flying to Thailand

Today my sister, Lynette, left a very sweet goodbye message right before they boarded the flight to Thailand. For those of you who don't know, they plan to be there at least two years before they come back to visit.

I let Tyler listen to her message this evening. He got teary and said he missed her. He asked how she would get to Thailand, and I explained that she was in an airplane. He thinks we oughta hitch a ride on a bird, specifically a heron (because he says it's the "biggest bird"), and fly over to Thailand to visit. We miss them already!


"What if someone's brain was too small. And they ate and ate and ate and ate until it was so big that it filled their head."

I had nothing to say to that. I just smiled.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vaccine debate

OK, here's the deal. My wonderful sister-in-law, Carrie, posted this article on her blog with the title, "Vaccinations - Things to Think About."

I know I'm biased because I never questioned whether I should have Tyler vaccinated, and he is up-to-date on all of his vaccines. I will also admit, I didn't read the entire article (at least not yet). But I did begin writing a loooong comment on Carrie's blog. I decided to post my thoughts here instead of her blog because I don't want my opinion to feel as though it is an attack on Carrie, because it certainly is not. I just realized that I feel passionately about a few things I read.

It is interesting to have a doctor comment on the vaccination debate. For example,

"Before a child reaches the age of two he or she will have received 32 vaccinations...all of them given during the first 12 months of life. Seven vaccines injected into a 13 lb. two-month old infant are equivalent to 70 doses in a 130 lb. adult. "

Yikes. This statement is disconcerting and reminds me of the worry I had whenever Tyler received a vaccination, or 4.

But the good doctor lost me when he made a connection between mental health disorders and vaccines. (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism were identified in his article). As in, I disagree strongly with him. These disorders (like some others) do show a large increase in numbers of those diagnosed. In more than one seminar I've attended, it has been discussed that this change is due to an increase in training in the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders throughout the mental health community. In other words, people had these disorders in the same numbers they do now, they just went undiagnosed or were misdiagnosed. I, personally, doubt that there is a connection between vaccines and ADHD or autism. If there is, I think it is worth the risk in preventing a life-threatening disease.

Then there are things like outbreaks of the measles that, to me, are further evidence that vaccines appear worth the risk. You can follow this article to read more about that, if you didn't hear it already.

OK, I'm now hopping back off of my soap box. :)

Dino play

This is Tyler after lunch today. He was having quite the dinosaur conversation...I only caught a little bit of it on video.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Day with Grandpa's

We spent the day with Ted and Sue today. First they treated us to lunch, then we headed to the new Playscape at Sedgwick County Park (about a mile from our house). It is a pretty neat playground with all sorts of things to do, which I think will provide him hours of enjoyment. Tyler had been there twice already this week and was happy to show me and his Grandparents around.

First, he showed us the digger.

Next, one of the water/sand tables. He appeared to be taking this job of moving sand and water around very seriously.


Future Olympian on the balance beam. Ha ha. :)

Smiling with Grandma.

Looking hot and sweaty.

Being a goof (refusing to smile for the picture).

Climbing up the wobbly...thing (that Grandma is steadying).

Afterwards, we came back to the house so that Tyler could "help" Sue make MCC school kits while Ted, Wayne and I enjoyed a heated Dominoes battle. Afterwards, they treated us to dinner. We had a great day!

Counting Mommy

This morning, I was waiting for Tyler to pick his shirt. He noticed that I had hung a mobile he made in the closet. He said "how did that get there? Hang it for me. "

[pause, Mommy is zoning out]

Then, he says encouragingly, "you can do it...10, 9, 8, 7, [I scamper to get it hung] Good job!"

OK -
a. I didn't know Tyler could count backwards at all. (And I'm not confident he could have counted all the way down to 1/0).
b. Since we are constantly counting for Tyler to do things, I am not surprised he counted for me. But I still found it entertaining, especially since he was not angry; he was happy and encouraging.

As a side note; a week ago, within 2 days of me returning to work, I came home to find Tyler dressing and undressing himself. I believe this has not happened before now because I'm too impatient. He still needs some help and watching him requires me to bite my tongue as I see him struggling and pulling pants up askew, but I'm trying. Apparently you just need to be around Daddy for a few days to learn some independence, not a bad thing. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

School year

Traditional school year - 8 (80%)
Year round school - 2 (20%)

This summer was my first summer off of work since...sometime in high school? Being able to have a taste of being a stay-at-home mom and spending time with family was wonderful. Priceless, really.

Wayne and I have discussed his preference for year-round school and mine for the traditional school year. I realize that children could benefit from the year-round school year. They would have shorter breaks throughout the year so that they don't need so much time to regain what they have lost during the summer months.

However, I remember many years as a student feeling burned out by the end of the year. I was so thankful for the change of schedule to refresh and feel ready to go back. (And I remember lots of long days, gardening, swimming, playing with cousins and all those fun things that fill summer days). I felt the same way this year as an adult. I was able to enjoy family and friends and a change of pace. There is an excitement in the air coming back to a new school year. I think as a professional, it allows for a natural chance to try things in a new way.

Next summer, I will most likely have to work during the summer since our regular summer support staff will be unable to work (you know, babies being born and all). But, I do hope to have many summers home with Tyler and I am so grateful for that too. From when he was born, I felt that I was made to take care of him, protect him, and love him. I also love my work. I guess I can't say in enough ways or enough times that I have my dream job. How thankful I am for that! And I really hope that Kansas keeps the traditional schedule!

Cutting up

A couple of nights ago, Tyler kept himself occupied for nearly two hours, cutting fabric. We got to watch Olympics while he happily cut away.
(Please ignore the nasty stains on the carpet from when our basement flooded this summer. Ewww. Also, he is wearing his swimsuit).

Sunday, August 10, 2008


There is something gratifying about being able to throw dinner together without having to go to the store. (Especially since I don't plan out the week's meals in advance).
Tonight we made nachos. First we fried the chips...

Then add the fixings, and bake.

Not healthy, but they were yummy. And good Olympics-watching food. OK, that was the plan, but the Olympics weren't on when we ate. We watched a lame episode of America's Funniest Home Videos. Is it just me, or are the videos not as funny as they used to be? Maybe it was just a bum episode. That is one show that is usually guaranteed to give me a good belly laugh...Maybe next time.

Ordinary Miracle

The song I can't get out of my head today...and I don't mind...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Plant drama

When I was meme'd, I admitted that I enjoy looking for new plants, planting them and watching the bunnies eat them. I did not admit that I am not skilled in the art of...keeping them alive even when bunnies are not a problem.

Today, I am referring to the palm that I planted a mere seven months ago. Last week, I noticed that a few of its branches were becoming a little yellowed. I thought, hey, I know that it's a low-light plant, but why not set it outside...for a the intense Kansas sun...which quickly crispified it's fragile little leaves. The few fronds that were not totally brown by the end of the day fell over.


Today, we mourned the loss of the "beautiful" palm...and replaced it with....
dah dah dah daahhhh...
The Corn Plant. We will hope that this specimen will be more hearty...and I won't leave it in the sun all day. Lesson learned. Though, there is more to caring for plants than knowing not to leave them in intense sun...

Quote of the Day

Tonight Tyler asked me, "Why do we have two eyes instead of a Y?"

I asked what he meant, saying that I didn't understand. He repeated his question, and I repeated mine.

He responded (with an upturned hand - an often used gesture indicating he is telling me something he considers very important),

"Why don't you listen to what I am saying to you?" (I think he's heard that before).

I cracked up. I explained why (I think) we have two eyes, instead of one. That appeared to be a sufficient explanation. I'm still not quite sure what he meant by the Y. I will be on the alert to try to discern what he meant... :)

Mamma Mia

Well, let's see...Mamma Mia was fun. I had a good time and laughed almost the whole way through. Admittedly, much of the time it was because it was over the top. I enjoyed being out with Lisa and Michelle. We decided it was the first girls' night out in almost 2 years.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Doing better.

Tonight, I'm feeling much better than when I posted earlier. I think Melissa is right. (It never gets easy, and it is probably harder on me than him).

Wayne has encouraged me to have a girls' night out. We're going to see Mamma Mia. Hopefully, I can just relax and not feel guilty!

Back To Work

This last week, when I left to go to a lunch meeting, Tyler begged to go with me so that, "I won't have to miss you." He cried and cried. He told me, "I want to miss Daddy, not you."

Last night, he told me, "I will never see you." I asked what he was talking about. He said, "when you go to work, I will never see you." I tried to reassure him and he seemed okay.

This morning, he woke up when I did, before 6 am. Wayne laid back down with him, but Tyler was very upset. He cried and cried to Wayne telling him that "Mommy needs to sleep some more, it is not time for her to go to work." Which, I agree, :) I was wishing that I too could be sleeping. It's much easier to leave him than it was when he was a baby, but it still breaks my heart.

I think once we're in a routine, it won't be as hard for either of us...but for today, a piece of my heart is at home.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Today Tyler said, "Mommy, I want to have a bazillion children." Later tonight, "Mommy, I want to have eighteen children." At least his goal is more attainable now.

Stinky Mommy

After I worked out yesterday, Tyler was snuggling in my lap. He looked up at me and said, "Mommy, what is that thing that I smell?" Ewww. Can't blame him.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wal Mart dinosaurs on the loose

Today when we went into Wal Mart, Tyler said, "it smells like dinosaurs in here!"

Picture Votes

Well, the votes are in. 6 for the vertical set and 4 for the horizontal. I ordered my prints and picked them up today. I still really like the horizontal pictures too, so I'm going to find a frame to hold at least a few more pictures. Thanks for your help!

Monday, August 4, 2008


Well, this weekend I got a wild hair and decided to try to sell our "old" vacuum cleaner. For a little background, around 6 months ago or so, Wayne found a super deal on a Dyson vacuum cleaner. After much persuasion on his part, he promised that if he bought it, he would not allow me to touch it...which meant he would do all the vacuuming. I was skeptical about how long that would last. Luckily, I was wrong. Every time...let me repeat that... every time I am done doing the dusting, bathrooms, etc, I am so thankful that he does the vacuuming. And he doesn't complain about it.

Finally, this weekend, I realized that I don't have to hang onto my unused space-taking vacuum any longer. (I don't have much storage space and the vacuum was taking what I had left of my coat closet). I made my first post on craigslist. Within 20 minutes of posting, I had an interested customer. To make a long story long, as my father would say, I emailed right back and didn't hear anything...for over 24 hours until after I emailed and asked whether there was still interest. I was frustrated with waiting and Wayne had to remind me numerous times to relax and be patient. Finally, we made plans to make the trade today. (1pm at a convenience store).

I took Tyler, poor child, because he didn't want to "miss" me. We waited in the miserable heat (it was a bazillion degrees today) for about 25 minutes until I gave up.

I think that the heat makes me cranky. Being stood up made me irritated.

But, I am happy to say that I called another buyer-in-waiting who gladly picked it up, within an hour, on time!!! So, I now have a new feather in my cap: sold 1 item on craigslist and $20 in my pocket.

I don't know if I'm ready to post anything new on craigslist right away, though...


After months of being suspicious of the whole thing, I joined facebook. I'm still trying to figure it out. I'm hoping to have time to keep up, especially with going back to work this week. We'll see how it goes...I'm hoping to be able to use facebook as a way to keep up with people that I haven't been in a long time...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Q & A

Last night, Tyler and I were sitting outside enjoying some Popsicles. I asked him what his favorite thing to do is, and he answered "kissing you." So, I asked what is something he does not like to do, and he said, "cry." So, I grabbed a pen and paper to document the rest of my impromptu Q & A...

Q: What is your favorite treat?
A: Popsicles (These days, it sure seems to be)!

Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: Charlotte's Web

Q: Which is better, day or night?
A: Day.
Q: Why?
A: Because it's fun.

Q: What is your favorite drink?
A: Pink lemonade. (This surprised me - I thought it would be strawberry milk)

Q: What is your favorite toy?
A: My dinosaur.
Q: Which one?

Q: Would you rather get a haircut or take a bath?
A: A bath!

Q: Would you rather be sticky or muddy?
A: Sticky

Q: Would you rather be hot or cold?
A: Cold

Q: Would you rather play with one friend or lots of friends?
A: One friend.

Q: Would you rather do something you know you like to do or try something new?
A: Try something new.

Q: Would you rather wear tennis shoes or sandals?
A: Tennis shoes.

Q: Would you rather have a pet frog or pet hamster?
A: A pet hamster. What is a hamster?

Q: Would you rather read a book or watch TV?
A: Read a book.

Q: Would you rather take a bath or a shower?
A: A bath.

Q: What is a place you don't like to go?
A: Wal Mart

Q: What is a place you do like to go?
A: Pei Wei (Asian restaurant)

Q: What is a food you do not like?
A: Lemons. (Me: What? I thought you liked lemons. Tyler: Oh, I do. Me: OK, so what is a food you don't like? Tyler: Limes Me: (unsure) OK).

Q: What is a food you do like to eat?
A: Pei Wei

Q: If you could be anywhere, where would you be?
A: Outside, riding my trike.

Q: What is your favorite room?
A: My room!
And I ran out of questions. I know that some of these answers can change in another moment, but I found it fun. It's nice to be able to have conversations with my little man.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Tyler just told me, "I wish I had two Mommies and two Daddies." I asked what his other Mommy and Daddy would be like. He said they would be "a Mommy and Daddy that don't put me in time-out when I say bad things to them." Apparently time-outs are still effective. :)

By the way, "bad things" are his term for being defiant or not doing what he is asked. When Wayne or I tell Tyler to do something that he does not want to do, he tells us that we are "saying the wrong thing."

Sleeping under the...ceiling fan.

The Bugaboo tent made its arrival yesterday. I wanted to camp in the backyard, but since it was supposed to be in the 80s during the night and humid (and we are supposed to have a heat advisory starting today), Wayne suggested setting up the tent in the living room. Not what I envisioned, but hey, better than nothing! So, he cleared what he could from the living room and got to work.

When I got up to get the camera, Tyler was staring intently at the directions with Wayne.
Seeing the camera sent him running.

Here it is all set up. There was no room to walk on either side, and it made me feel a little silly for having done this. But, it was fun anyway.

The tent came with a little light with remote control. Tyler enjoyed turning it on and off. He also enjoyed jumping around like crazy inside the tent. Wayne asked him to be careful as the tent was not fully set up. This morning, we were laying in the tent. Tyler said something under his breath. When I asked what he had said, he said emphatically, "the tent is fragile!"
We intended to have a family night of sleeping in the tent. In actuality, Tyler squirmed around as usual, and I ended up sleeping on the couch. Wayne came to bed so late, that he just slept in our bed. We still enjoyed trying it out and Tyler was, as expected, disappointed when we put it away.
Side note - Wayne doesn't care for the colors of the tent, and pointed out that they are Notre Dame colors. I feel that being from 45 minutes east of Notre Dame, I must cheer all the more loudly, and it is an extra reason not to be put off by the colors. :) Go Irish!